The Org Chart as a Management Tool
It’s a story that has played out more times than we care to remember. Chances are good that you’ve seen it happen.
An executive in your organization is flipping through a three-ring binder looking for some document, and there, on the third page, is a yellowed, wrinkled, coffee-stained copy of the “Org Chart” for the firm. A post-it is attached to the page so that it peeks out the top with a note saying, “please update.” The binder is then placed on the administrative assistant’s desk. And not another thought is given to the issue.
A Set of Boxes
In many organizations the Organization Chart is often simply viewed as a “set of boxes” on a page, and is only used – if at all - as an administrative tool to track positions and people.
The “Org Chart” is typically not up-to-date, and consequently there is no coherent picture as to the status or the related costs of many positions. In fact, there is little opportunity for managers to take a top-down view of the actual status of employees as they are shifted from position to position to meet changing organizational priorities.
This removes an important tool from the manager’s toolkit with the result that tactical decisions are being made from the perspective of a single position and/or employee.
A current, continuously updated, and - most important - visible, “Org Chart” enables a more strategic approach to HR management.
The Map to Success
The “Org Chart” should be seen as an important tool that guides the organization of work to deliver on expected results and organizational objectives.
Priorities change. Business plans evolve. Therefore, it is critical that organizational structures be adjusted. Work requirements are used to clearly define the changing roles and responsibilities of employees to reflect the evolving mandate of the organization.
Managers should view the “Org Chart” as a strategic tool that aligns expected organizational results and outputs with direction to employees on work objectives and learning needs.
Numerous employee surveys have highlighted the need to clearly communicate where the organization is going, what is expected of employees, and what learning is required to enable them to deliver. The “Org Chart” provides the manager with a map to deliver on these requirements.
So, what's your experience? Do you find the "Org Chart" a useful strategic tool or one more "check box" that someone decided needs to be in the official binder?